Sound too good to be true? Is it possible to actually eat more and weigh less? “Not only is it possible, but often required to lose weight and keep it off,” states Susan Watkins, RD, CDE, manager of the St. Joseph Health Center for Health Promotion. Watkins offers these strategies and tips to lose weight while staying full and satisfied.
The problem with “diets” is that most people get hungry, making it easier to become tempted by unhealthy foods. Most of us know that we should be eating less, but it is hard to do when the food tastes delicious and you are hungry. “The key to long-term weight management,” says Watkins, “is to eat large quantities of low-calorie food to keep you full, while reducing calories--a concept called high volume, low calorie.”
Vegetables are a great way to achieve this. On average, veggies are only 25 calories per serving, so they are a great addition to bulk up any meal. Try adding at least two cups to both lunch and dinner. Cut down the starch or protein while you add the vegetables. You can easily mix cooked vegetables into your favorite meal, such as with quinoa, rice, pasta, soups, etc. Products like cauliflower rice can be mixed with rice to dilute the calories. Many people find they like the cauliflower so much that they skip the rice altogether! Also, zucchini or spaghetti squash can be used in place of pasta. Since they are low in calories, you don’t need to worry so much about your serving size. Try these super simple and delicious squash recipes.
Include a big salad with meals, along with adding in cooked vegetables to amp up your volume even more! Try roasting or broiling vegetables and then storing in ziplock bags to use in recipes during the week. Frozen vegetables are a great backup plan if you run out of fresh, and fresh or frozen steam-in-the-bag veggies help to keep things quick and easy.
Try to limit eating out, as it is hard to control the calories. When you do dine out, continue to think of ways to keep the low-calorie foods high on your list, such as a big salad; but, be specific about what you want to remove to keep it healthy (such as croutons, cheese, bacon, and high-calorie dressings). You can pick one higher calorie item to keep on your salad and remove the rest. Or, look for vegetable-based soups as a substitute for French fries. You can also ask for steamed vegetables as one of your side items (ask for light on the butter or no butter to keep calories down).
Carry a cooler bag with you during the day with vegetables, fruits and easy protein sources such as small bags of almonds or precooked edamame beans. The hungrier you become, the worse your food choices will be. Staving off hunger with healthy snacks can be the key to staying on track anytime during the year. Be sure to pick items that seem to fill you up and satisfy you. This can be different for everyone. If you are not hungry, it will be much easier to stick to a healthy eating plan, lose weight and keep it off once and for all!
Need more help losing weight? St. Jude Heritage Healthcare offers the award-winning HMR Weight Management Program that incorporates this high volume, low-calorie strategy so you are not hungry. This program was voted #1 best, fast weight loss diet by US World News and Report three years in a row! For more information about this program, or to attend our free orientation, call HMR at (714) 446-5154, or click here.
For more information about the Center for Health Promotion programs and services call:
- Brea (714) 618-9500
- Santa Ana (714) 628-3242
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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.